By Mike Thayer
The Johnson County Republican Central Committee isn't making this argument on the behalf of the candidate they're supposed to be promoting, so I will........ We need a different perspective on the board in the name of fairness....
Right now, here is the makeup of the Board of Supervisors, a five seat board: They're all Democrats, who tend to think the government is the first and only solution to any perceived problem.
Is that a fair representation of Johnson County?
Seat #1: Liberal Janelle Rettig, the Current Chair - Her liberal bias is clear in every stance she takes, a true believer in government is the first and only solution to any perceived problem. She has a low tolerance for opposing points of view, but in a says something behind your back when you're not around, in a behind closed door kind of way. She has a habit of saying one thing and doing another, like campaigning as a fiscal conservative, but helping balloon the budget for example. She also favors borrowing money to pay bills, instead of cutting spending.
Seat #2: Liberal Rod Sullivan - Intolerent of opposing points of view, Sullivan likes to grandstand and throw temper tantrums. He exemplifies the government first and only solution mentality. If he doesn't get his way, he tries to bully. He always points a finger of blame at other people when things go wrong. He seems incapable of self-reflection.
Seat #3: Democrat Pat Harney - He's a moderate, a swing vote. When the vote is 3-2, he's usually the reason why. He tends to get talked into a stance rather than take the lead on an issue.
Seat #4: Democrat Terrance Neuzil - He's the best thinker on the board, doesn't necessarily believe the government is a first and only solution. He considers/suggests alternatives to proposals.
Seat #5: ?
Seat #5 was formerly held by Democrat Sally Stutsman, who has left the board to take a seat in the Iowa House. Hence the special election on March 5. Sally, like Pat Harney, is a moderate. She tended to vote with whoever made the stronger argument.
So there you have it, what up to this point has been an all Democrat board for years. Is that a fair representation of the county populace? Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1 in Johnson County, so wouldn't it be fair to have ONE Republican on a five-member board? Isn't it discrimination NOT to include a Republican? The GOP is in the minority here and NOT currently represented on the board. Is an all Democrat decision always a fair solution?
I would appeal to peoples' common sense and urge them to consider that a different political perspective (smaller government, lower taxes) on the board would be a HEALTHY thing, to think of it as a check and balance kind of approach to better county government, but most people in this county don't seem to be concerned about the big picture and sustainabilty...... political health. Democrats make appeals in the name of fairness all the time, so why should this situation be any different? We all want to be fair about things, right?
Let's say that John Etheredge got elected. He could establish a working relationship with Pat Harney and possibly Terrence Neuzil. What a fair thing to do. We might just get some more objective legislation for the county out of that, less bullying and grandstanding from Sullivan and more fiscal responsibility out of Rettig.
Gosh, what a fair thing to consider.